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SATRA manager delivers key address at Lavoro conference

Reporting on a recent event in which a SATRA expert presented information on the topic of ‘sustainability in footwear’.

Portuguese professional footwear company Lavoro recently hosted a conference entitled ‘Space Oddity – Looking to the future’ for more than 100 brand partners. SATRA’s sustainability manager, Nicola Pichel-Juan, was invited to be the keynote speaker at the event held in Guimãres, where Lavoro has been producing safety shoes for demanding and technical professions for the past 37 years. Nicola discussed a number of challenges and opportunities for professional footwear production in Europe, including the trend for on or near-shoring (moving production closer to the point of sale), digitalisation and a transition towards a circular economy.

Lavoro displayed some of its footwear at the ‘Space Oddity’ conference

The event was designed to look to the future while exploring what Lavoro describes as its ‘innovative approach to engineering and professional footwear production’. Lavoro’s chairman, Teófilo Leite, explained that the company has embarked on a ‘constant journey of discovery’ and that working with new materials, techniques and processes is helping Lavoro to push the boundaries of traditional methods in order to reach a truly innovative destination. The company’s goal is said to one of ‘producing footwear that is so pioneering and sustainable that end users will feel they can go anywhere while being in complete control’.

The conference provided an opportunity for Lavoro’s brand partners to learn about its investments in modernisation, new products and communication strategies. This includes a EUR 5 million investment in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, renovation and expansion of existing operations, installation of solar panels and the introduction of automation and robotics throughout the production process. The details of various ongoing projects were also presented, which relate to the development of innovative professional footwear being made in collaboration with various research centres, Portuguese universities and Bosch.

The photograph at the top of this page shows SATRA sustainability manager, Nicola Pichel-Juan with Lavoro’s chairman, Teófilo Leite (left) and company chief executive, Tom Leite.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 4 of the July/August 2023 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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